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Seneca supervisors to discuss final courthouse design

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Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 10:49 am

WATERLOO — The county courthouse upgrade and other building projects will highlight Tuesday’s meeting of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors.

It begins with a special board meeting and Public Works Committee meeting at 5 p.m. in the Heroes Conference Room for a workshop with architects on the final design of the courthouse project.

The board has agreed on the interior layout of the project but must decide on the exterior design before the project is finalized and made ready to go to bid.

The project involves demolishing the old jail and sheriff’s office wing on the east side of the courthouse, upgrading the historic courthouse on the west end and building an addition on the east to house the district attorney’s offices, additional courtrooms and other court-related offices. A new parking area also will be built.

A former residence on the far east end that once housed county offices also will be demolished. The project has a price tag of $4 million.

That will be followed by a 5:30 p.m. meeting of the Public Works Committee to discuss awarding a bid contract for replacement of the roof at the historic Papa Bear courthouse in Ovid. If the committee agrees, a recommendation would be made to the full board later.

When the full board convenes at 6 p.m. in the board meeting room, one of the motions it will consider is to authorize additional design services for the courthouse project.

The proposal is to authorize payment of up to $175,264, plus reimbursable expenses of up to $12,500, to the Popli Design Group to do the additional design work on the project.

The board also will consider a motion to adopt a five-year capital improvement plan for the period of 2013 to 2017.

That plan lists the courthouse project as the top priority. It calls for long-term bonding to pay for the project, with construction to take place from 2013 to 2015.

Other parts of the five-year plan are heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements, restroom improvements and other upgrades for  energy efficiency, functionality and life of the building at the County Health Building on Thurber Drive, Waterloo.

That has a price tag of $650,000, which would come from an existing capital reserve fund. The work would be done from 2014 to 2016.

Other projects on the list include:

• $525,000 in upgrades to the County Office Building with payment from the capital reserve fund.

• $125,000 for improvements to the county highway garage in Romulus. The money would come from the highway reserve fund.

• $120,000 for installation of a new 911 microwave link from Burgess Road in Waterloo to Ovid. The money would come from the 911 reserve and the capital reserve funds.

• $1.72 million for ongoing highway equipment and vehicle replacement. That money would come from the operating budget over the five years.

• $750,000 for construction of a new highway garage and maintenance facility on county-owned property adjacent to the current highway garage in Romulus. The money would come from capital reserve and highway reserves and work would be done in 2016 and 2017.

• $250,000 in improvements and upgrades to the Law Enforcement Center in Romulus from 2013 to 2015. The money will come from the capital reserve fund.

The board also will consider adopting a financing plan for 2013 capital improvement plan projects.

The plan is to bond for $1.1 million for the courthouse project, use $320,000 from the capital reserve, use $75,000 from the 911 reserve and use $320,000 in operating funds in the 2013 county budget.

The board also will consider a motion to refinance the remaining $13 million of a $20 million bond issued in 2005.

The refinancing will increase the amount to $14.5 million over 10 years, but the lower interest rate will decrease the county’s annual debt service cost.

Other agenda resolutions include:

• ROOF: Authorizing the award of a bid contract to Joseph L. Peterson of Waterloo for $52,500 for the replacement of the roof on the County Health Building on Thurber Drive. The company was the lowest responsible bidder on Sept. 7.

• APPOINTMENT: Naming Martha Bond to fill a vacancy on the county Board of Health. She would serve a six-year term.

• ENGINEERS: Authorizing an amendment to the current contract with Barton & Loguidice Engineers for services to the Public Health Department, increasing the amount to up to $15,000.

Also proposed is signing a contract with former County Engineer Jason McCormick for engineering services, also for the Public Health Department. The cost would be $45 per hour.

• BATH SALT BAN: A motion to ban the sale of synthetic chemical materials commonly called “bath salts,” calling them a “threat to public safety.” A local law imposing the ban is proposed.

• SMOKING BAN EXCEPTION: A proposal to exempt the Seneca County Mental Health Department Drop-In Center at 27 Cayuga St., Seneca Falls, from the 2011 smoking ban will be considered.

The local law would set up new criteria for clients of the center that would allow them to smoke in a designated area on the property if they are enrolled in a smoking cessation program.

A hearing on the local law would be Nov. 3.

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